With so much ongoing constitutional turmoil, the fact that more than 100 people attended the two-day job fair at Sonesta Maho Beach Resort and Casino should not go unnoticed. There is hardly any doubt that something the island needs urgently, also in terms of rising crime, is employment particularly for local youngsters.
The vast majority of applicants on this occasion had the Dutch nationality and only seven were French-side residents. The latter to a certain extent dispels allegations of hiring practices favouring foreigners at least by the company involved.
At the same time it’s regrettable that there was little interest in the positions of chefs, sous chefs and kitchen helpers most available at the Food and Beverage Department. One can’t help but wonder whether the current education system is really suited to the actual labour market.
Be that as it may, there are several major projects in the pipeline that would provide work for quite a number of people. Examples are the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line (RCCL) venture at the Harbour and the adjacent development that is to replace the cancelled Zebec plans there, but also the Rainforest Adventure Park, the FBO facility for private planes at the airport and others.
There are varying reasons why not all these projects seem to be getting off the ground quickly, but the current political uncertainty can’t be very helpful. After all, Government is supposed to facilitate investment and doing business on the island and that just does not seem to be happening in an optimal manner at this point.
Moreover, the high tourism season is around the corner and St. Maarten must get its act together. Both the elected representatives and the public administrators need to realise that when it comes to opportunistic behaviour their time is definitely up.